The Plane Truth

My fingers are hungry for
ebony and ivory

keys to tickle up in space.
Or give me six strings and

a capo, my voice is ravenous
to dispel this damper.

Unprompted lyrics linger
on my tongue, scents beckoning.

I make no sound but my cells
are twangling music, waking

play me!
Welcome home.
We’re back

in time, when I could hear
the planet’s rejoicing as it moved

through my ears and danced
along my fingers.  A rich cascade

open and accepting, the gates
have finally reopened after so many

years lost in a fog.  Invisible
and half-forgotten, the misty trail

purposefully obscure.  And the why
doesn’t matter, not now, zinging

as the child next to me cries
air pressure pain, unwelcome surprise

in what was sold as a treat.
Such a long, long time to be

sitting here in this crowd
of muted passengers, the windows

offering the solace of cloud song.
They are gathered in the sky like

awesome angels, fat, cherubic chuckling
as our passage pierces.

We all tuck into our places,
headphones firmly fastened,

shielded from the very music
that can save us if

someone could hear our inner
cry. Throw me a rope.

Drop me a line, free
verse in this syncopated time.

Inspired by: Line, Dispel, Rope, and Awesome.


Old Dog, New Tricks

Silence and that heavy stare’s
a laser just at sunrise.

He has plans and urges and
his coaching sparks my waking.

He believes in my super-
powers, latent until now.

I rise with not a backward
glance at the ways which brought me

here.  We greet the day pacing
a beauty walk before the

inkling of a poem sprouts.
Enlivened as live oaks, we

serenade in turn with song-
birds, the drape of Spanish moss

a cautionary tale. Glimpse
lizards skitter out of sight.

We celebrate sentience.
I wave at every being

trapped in steel as I root deep
into the ancient land of

the Seminole.  Resonate
fine-tuning my instrument,

grab your pick and pluck my strings
and oh, how my heart can sing.

Inspired by: Silence, Backward, Pick and Spark.


Each morning I’m prompted

to warp time and space

and breathe in peculiar

rhyme with no warning of

what I represent, rep-

rehensible base

a disgrace I expose.

Digging up bones from those

unmarked graves hidden

in this bucolic space.  I can’t

leave, faced with ferocious

resistance — how dare I

disturb what is seething

— malcontent label, dis-

trusted clear seeing.  Now

this thread of secret sorrow

linking yesterdays’

tomorrows brings me here,

my heart bared to receive

your arrows.  Aim and fly.

I yield.  My song unsealed

what we grieve.  A few more

tears and sighs before I

reach rage’s primal dance,

claim my inheritance,

singing, this tune is mine.

Inspired by Bucolic, Warp, Represent and Peculiar.

Full Moon Rites

(A song)

I call up my sweet full moon trickery when
I implement tools of my trade.
Her silver illumes just what flickers within
this young heart behind hair that’s grayed.

The predators roam and their frightened prey run
in the harsh unforgiving light of the sun.
The spells that lie hidden in dark have begun.

I stand on the threshold, my hands are outspread
the balance now rises within.
My critics are harsh and I face without dread
the most alien, they are my kin.

The predators roam and their frightened prey run
in the harsh unforgiving light of the sun.
The spells that lie hidden in dark now be sung.

The chase is long over, the welcome mat placed,
the old trap is finally transformed.
The moon brings us closer, our connections traced
in the heartlines our love is informed.

No predators roam and the prey has begun
to sing in the darkness in praise of the sun.
United together we see we are one.

(I haven’t written a song in decades. So I’m thankful for today’s prompts that inspired this one: Trickery, Tool, Moon and Implement.)

These Dreams

Spare a little candle, save some light for me….These dreams go on when I close my eyes. Every second of the night, I live another life. ~ Bernie Taupin and Martin George Page 

I descend into the basement,

a tidy little box, one orderly

shelf for adulation,

all items clearly labeled.

I mean to store this tribute

among the prizes and medals

I’ve won.

But it seems there’s more,

and I carry a different load

peering in dull surprise

through the gloom, rooms

like a warren, the way

almost blocked by disarray.

A voice calls from above

to go in, but the shambolic

mess repels me, and I’ve

misplaced my burden.

I turn away.

Climbing the steps, I notice

sawdust from a careless

builder.  I sweep it

so forcefully that my shoulder

aches and I cry out in pain.

Which brings me to wakefulness,

astounded by the innovative

giveaway of dreams

after I’ve asked for illumination.

The careful altar to the puffy

ego, while behind this

industrious worker cutting

rough openings to hidey-holes,

like vaults full of treasure

just waiting for the day

I dare to delve. 

Inspired by:  Puffy, Adulation, Tribute and Innovative.

And this song recorded by Heart in 1985.

I Am The Slime

This burning question on the tip

of all our tongues: how can I

fix this other

who triggers me

with such wrongness?

Tempting to call this

a haunting by

a vagrant ancestor,

unmourned, long forgotten

playing a song

in your range.

I’m an alto

but I can reach the high

notes and I can go low.

So many emerge as I open

my mouth, burdened with impossible

all energy impeded


for this simple melody

of recognition-release.

How does this land

on me?  How is this mine?

Where am I holding

on to this continual torment


though I call it unwilling?

And so I sing

what is

committed to the integration

of not pretty or nice,

nothing to be proud

of saying aloud.

Shamed, afraid,

angry and grieving

loosening these tight


unraveling in the first

sonata of the symphony.

Life, wanting to live

through me

in all its messy

ugly, detested glory.


Inspired by Slime, Vagrant, Range, Haunting and the lyrics of this song from my youth:

I am gross and perverted
I’m obsessed ‘n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little has changed
I’m the tool of the Government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you

I may be vile and pernicious
But you can’t look away
I make you think I’m delicious
With the stuff that I say
I’m the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I’m the slime oozin’ out
From your TV set. ~ Frank Zappa 1973

This Musical Life

Make me an instrument of your peace. ~ St. Francis

~ Dedicated To Don

Not even the crepitus in his knees

can stymie his offering: the embouchure

— years of dedicated notes

swirling through the open

window — with which he masters

every woodwind.  Breathtaking

transformed into the sex

of sax as I dance alone,

undone.  Sometimes he sings

in his deep clarinet voice

in the secret language my soul

can translate.  Today

my 99-year-old neighbor

and I regard each other

from the screens that separate

us, unearthed, this heavenly

transport by the flute.

The blessing begins when

he says, “Going down

to practice,” before a fight

and I’m left floating

into the kitchen in my snit,

making my ways to pots

and pans to stir all this

magic into soups and cakes

I’ll bring to her — she smiles

across the way, anticipating

these comforts we’ve created.

We’ll sip tea and savor

the secret ingredient,

what others pay dearly to hear

gifted to us by the very air

until he creaks painfully

up the stairs once more,

baffled to find me humming

— the simmering fight transmuted

into joy washing through

the sink filled with dishes.


Inspired by: Embouchure, Stymie, Crepitus, and Breathtaking.